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Thursday
Apr052012

Marshall Amp Inventor Jim Marshall Dead at 88

Joseph Branston/Guitarist magazine via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The creator of one of rock music's most iconic, fundamental tools has passed away.  Jim Marshall, inventor of the Marshall amplifier, has died at age 88.  

A statement posted on Marshall Amps' official website and a Facebook memorial page reads, in part, "It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall. … While the entire Marshall Amplification family mourns Jim's passing and will miss him tremendously, we all feel richer for having known him and are happy in the knowledge that he is now in a much better place which has just got a whole lot louder!"

London-born Marshall worked as a singer and drummer in his late teens, but it was his day job as an electrical engineer that enabled him to build a portable amplifier for use at his gigs.  He later used money earned from teaching other drummers -- said to include Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience -- to open a London-area music store.  Spurred in part by conversations with store patrons who included Pete Townshend of The Who and a pre-Deep Purple Ritchie Blackmore, Marshall returned his attention to his prototype amplifier, refining it and founding Marshall Amplification in 1962.

The Marshall amp has since become synonymous with rock music, and placed Marshall on even footing with the likes of solid body electric guitar inventor Les Paul as one of rock's greatest innovators, earning him the nickname 'The Father of Loud.'

There's no word on Marshall's official cause of death or when he died.   However, his Facebook memorial page shows a creation date of March 29.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio